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Table 1 Criteria of the methodological quality

From: Human tendon adaptation in response to mechanical loading: a systematic review and meta-analysis of exercise intervention studies on healthy adults

  Scoring
Internal validity  
1. Study design A positive point was assigned if the following aspects were considered:
1. Mechanical tendon properties (stiffness)
2. Material tendon properties (Young’s modulus)
3. Morphological tendon properties (cross-sectional area)
4. Control group (no specific training) was included and participants were randomly assigned
2. Methods A positive point was assigned if the following aspects were considered:
2.1 Mechanical properties  
• Object of investigation A. Only the free tendon was assessed [79]
• Calculation of tendon force B. Consideration of gravitational forces [80,81]
C. Consideration of axes misalignment of dynamometer and joint [80-82]
D. Consideration of antagonistic muscle activation [83,84]
E. Tendon lever arm directly measured for each subject
• Measurement of tendon elongation F. Consideration of joint angle changes during the maximal isometric contraction on the tendon elongation measurement [84,85]
G. Using the average of multiple trials (>1) to increase the reliability of the ultrasound technique [86]
2.2 Morphological properties A. Magnetic resonance imaging was used [45,76]
B. Different positions along tendon length were assessed to account for potential region specific adaptations [24,29,30]
3. Cofactors A positive point was assigned if the following aspects were considered:
A. Influence of gender
B. Influence of physical activity level of the participants
Statistical validity  
4. Statistical tests A positive point was assigned if appropriate statistical tests were used
5. Power analysis A positive point was assigned if effect sizes were calculated and reported
External validity  
6. Eligibility of sample and variable A positive point was assigned if the intervention included:
1. Appropriate participant sample
2. Appropriate variables
7. Description of the exercise intervention protocol A positive point was assigned if the following criteria were reported:
A. Intensity of muscle contraction
B. Duration of single stimulus
C. Repetitions per set
D. Number of sets
E. Number of weeks of intervention
F. Number of trainings per week
8. Description of the participant sample A positive point was assigned if the following criteria were reported:
A Age, B Gender, C Body height, D Body weight, E Activity level